Working together without being together: the internal organisation in Outils-réseaux

Card's author : Outils-Réseaux
Card's type of licence : Creative Commons BY-SA
Testimonies : The team has the peculiarity that it is sometimes overwhelmed, since several of its 6 employees work there either occasionally or as their main job. Besides, they all work part-time. Therefore there is no unity in working times or spaces: so IT tools and ICTs partly solve the organisational and communication problems arising from this situation.

Document sharing and co-writing

  • An intranet, in the form of a YesWiki protected with a login and password constitutes the place where the necessary information for the team's life is centralised: minutes of the meetings, project descriptions, co-writing of documents, memos and procedure...they are all brought together here.
  • To co-write the minutes of meetings live, the Ietherpad system is used at a first stage, and it is then copied and pasted on the intranet. For contents with charts and diagrams we use Google Docs.
  • A Dropbox account for every team member provides them with a shared file so they have a work area with all the documents relating to the structure's management (administrative and accounting documents, project management…) Dropbox enables synchronising the update of these files (if one of the employees modifies a document saved on Dropbox on their computer, other employees whose computers are linked to Dropbox can also benefit from this update).

Communication: meeting, email and messaging

  • a team meeting is organised every Monday: some follow the meeting remotely (using Skype) and Etherpad. With these meetings they go over the projects, meetings…
  • an email account per person, using Thunderbird messaging service (with the POP system: messages are posted on everyone's space).
  • a mailing list for the Board and the team: each employee is registered as well as some Board members. This way, when one of them writes something, they all receive the message.
  • a distribution list for the team only.
  • a "home" account: it is checked by all employees (using Thunderbird with IMAP: this means all messages are on-line in the server): everyone has access to all messages received and sent and can send an email using this address.
  • using Phplist software to manage contacts and the distribution of emails: Phplist allows managing a database of email contacts and has an interface to configure mailing lists. The advantage of this is that people can de-register from these mailing lists themselves.
  • Skype is used by all to communicate from a distance (using a chat on a daily basis and, once a week, through a video-conference and sharing the desktop for the team meeting).


  • calendars allow everyone to follow the team's time uses: each has their own calendar (Phpicalendar or Google Calendar) on-line; there is one shared by all the team and everyone has a tool to update their own calendar (Sunbird or the Lightning extension of Thunderbird).

Shared tracking

  • Using the tag on Delicious, tracking is done collectively and can be followed on an RSS feed

Internet link :